Okanagan Sun's Ben White to be awarded prestigious community award

Kelowna native Ben White made a huge impact over five years with the Okanagan Sun and will be rewarded with a prestigious award handed out by the Canadian Junior Football League. - Fred Schaad
Kelowna native Ben White made a huge impact over five years with the Okanagan Sun and will be rewarded with a prestigious award handed out by the Canadian Junior Football League.
— image credit: Fred Schaad

With much of the focus on the Okanagan Sun's forgettable season on the field, one Sun player continued to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to giving back to the community this year.

And now fifth year receiver Ben White has been honoured for his goodwill over the years in a Sun uniform.

The Canadian Junior Football League will award White the 2012 Past Commissioners Community Service Award, an award given annually to an outstanding young man playing football for a CJFL team as well as contributing to his community.

CJFL Life Member Ron White will present White with the award at the Banquet of Champions tonight (Friday) in Langley.

“Ben is such a solid player. His speed and hands are both exceptional," said Okanagan Sun general manager Jay Christensen. "But the thing with Ben is he is such an exceptional person. He brings a respectful way to the locker room and the field that is infectious. You can see younger players notice it even if they are unaware of it completely. He is a real role model on how you should carry yourself and respect your opponent.”

For the last three seasons Ben has been a key member of the Sun offence with 51 receptions for 1389 yards and nine touchdowns. The soft spoken White has been a leader among the receivers and has been named the team's the team's most sportsmanlike player both of the past two seasons.

But it is his off field work that has really stood out.

Twice this past year the OKM graduate travelled to Haiti to help to explore ways he might be of help, working with a Canadian group to help rebuild a camp for youth leaders and mentors at a place called Camp Mahanaim at Les Cayes, Haiti. He has helped raise over $50,000 to help the nation of Haiti and is planning to take a group of family and friends to Haiti in the spring.

For the past several years he has also helped out at Nanoose Bay Camp on Vancouver Island in the capacity as a volunteer youth counsellor mentoring kids from 13 to 18-years old. White is also a youth leader at the New Life Church in Kelowna.

"All our players I think understand the aspect of community involvement but every once in a while one comes along who understands the importance of it, and knows why giving back to charities is just the right thing to do  That’s Ben. You know he will do great things someday in this area because he cares about others," said Christensen.

White will receive the award on Friday night as part of the Canadian Junior Football League championship weekend. The 2012 Canadian Bowl will kick-off on Saturday in Langley as the Rams host the Saskatoon Hilltops at McLeod Stadium at 1 p.m.



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